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What Killed ‘Blonde’ at Netflix? The Gerard Butler Did It

Few Netflix originals have received as much advance press and social media attention than Andrew Dominik’s “Blonde,” his adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ novel about Marilyn Monroe starring Ana de Armas. It would have been surprising had it not immediately risen to #1 on the streamer’s top 10 movie list — and it did. That lasted three days.

Facing critical backlash and less-than-stellar word of mouth, it’s now at #3.  To add to the ignominy, what replaced it was the Gerard Butler thriller “Last Seen Alive,” which had a brief run as a direct-to-VOD release in May.

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In recent weeks, Netflix originals “Lou,” “End of the Road,” “Me Time,” Day Shift,” and “Look Both Ways” all spent more time atop its movie-watching chart. Some had stars like Kevin Hart, Mark Wahlberg, Queen Latifah, and Jamie Foxx to elevate them. De Armas is not the same boldface name, but her credits include “Knives Out,” “No Time to Die,” and the streamer’s own “The Gray Man.”

This is the latest example of a Netflix project where a noted director has free rein to present his cinematic vision, but it doesn’t necessarily draw viewers. Films are never going to be the streamers’ top performers; that honor belongs to its series (like its current hit, “Dahmer”). Unlike “The Gray Man,” which cost over $200 million and spent eight days at number one. “Blonde” is a much less expensive investment.  As usual, Netflix will not confirm the budget for “Blonde,” but Variety listed it as $22 million.

Also ahead of “Blonde,” at #2, is “Inheritance,” a 2020 thriller with Lily Collins. The only other Netflix originals charting are last week’s #1 “Lou” in sixth place, while Tyler Perry’s “Jazzman Blues” is #7 (it never topped the list). Netflix’s long-term studio deals make up the rest of the chart, including two “Rush Hour” entries (the original at #4).

One new entry is an anomaly — Rob Zombie’s “The Munsters,” which Universal released in theaters and on VOD this weekend, is #8 on Netflix. Curiously, its simultaneous streaming went not to its in-house Peacock but a rival. Even with a scorecard, it’s tough to figure out the players.

Sony’s “Bullet Train” ($19.99), consistent with the studio’s long theatrical windows, was released last week on PVOD. It leads only at Vudu, calculating by revenue, with “Top Gun: Maverick” (Paramount/$4.99-$5.99) leading at iTunes and Google Play where transactions are the favored metric. (It’s #2 at Vudu).

Those two plus Sony’s “Where the Crawdads Sing” ($5.99) and Universal’s “Nope” ($5.99) ranked on all four charts, which saw an above average number of new releases. Apart from “Bullet Train,” none made more than one list.

Vudu, which elevates more-expensive PVOD releases, has “Fall” (Lionsgate/$19.99) at #3, a recent low-budget thriller about two young female climbers atop a 2,000 foot Mojave Desert tower, while A24 theatrical release “Bodies Bodies Bodies” ($19.99) is #8. The horror film waited two months before moving to PVOD.

“Emily the Criminal”
“Emily the Criminal”

iTunes has Roadside Attractions’ “Emily the Criminal” ($6.99) placing fourth. “Bandit” (Quiver/$6.99), with Josh Duhamel robbing banks and jewelers in Canada is #5, and “Vesper” (IFC/$6.99), which received minor theatrical play this weekend, is#8.

iTunes and Google Play rank films daily by number of transactions. These are the listings for October 3. Distributors listed are current rights owners. Prices for all titles are for rental.

iTunes

1. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount) – $5.99

2. Bullet Train (Sony) – $19.99

3. Where the Crawdads Sing (Sony) – $5.99

4. Emily the Criminal (Roadside Attractions) – $6.99

5. Bandit (Quiver) – $6.99

6. Elvis (WBD) – $5.99

7. Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (Focus) – $5.99

8. Vesper (IFC) – $6.99

9. Nope (Universal) – $19.99

10. Jurassic World: Dominion (Universal) – $5.99

 

Google Play

1. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount) – $4.99

2. Bullet Train (Sony) – $19.99

3. Where the Crawdads Sing (Sony) – $5.99

4. Nope (Universal) – $19.99

5. Jurassic World: Dominion (Universal) – $5.99

6. Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney) – $5.99

7. Minions: The Rise of Gru (Universal) – $19.99

8. Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24) – $4.99

9. X (A24) – $4.99

10. The Black Phone (Universal) – $5.99

 

Vudu

Vudu ranks by revenue, not transactions, which elevates Premium VOD titles. This list covers September 26 – October 2

1. Bullet Train (Sony) – $19.99

2. Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount) – $4.99

3. Fall (Lionsgate) – $19.99

4. Nope (Universal) – $19.99

5. After Ever Happy (Voltage) – $19.99

6. Beast (Universal) – $19.99

7. Elvis (WBD) – $5.99

8. Bodies Bodies Bodies (A24) – $19.99

9. Thor: Love and Thunder (Disney) – $19.99

10. Where the Crawdads Sing (Sony) – $5.99

 

Netflix Movies

Most viewed, current ranking on Netflix’s daily chart on Monday, October 3. Originals include both Netflix-produced and -acquired titles it initially presents in the U.S. Netflix publishes its own weekly top 10 on Tuesdays based on time viewed.

1. Last Seen Alive (2022 VOD release)

2. The Inheritance (2021 VOD release)

3. Blonde (2022 Netflix original)

4. Rush Hour (1998 theatrical release)

5. Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005 theatrical release)

6. Lou (2022 Netflix original)

7. A Jazzman’s Blues (2022 Netflix original)

8. The Munsters (2022 VOD release)

9. Rush Hour 3 (2013 theatrical release)

10. Robin Hood (2010 theatrical release)

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